The Author of the Month for February is Rhys Davies (1901-1978), the prolific novelist whose classic works A Time to Laugh and The Withered Root are canonised in the Library of Wales. Now a third classic has been added. With Selected Stories, Rhys Davies further proves his indelible impact on Welsh literature, writing working class fiction about the Rhondda Valley, his home, seldom deemed worthy of literary attention before he came along.
As chronicled in Meic Stephens' biography on the writer, Davies grew up as a loner, a homosexual who was allergic to the Welsh 'chapel culture'. As Stephens indicated, Davies used this time alone to observe human behaviour, recreate it in text in a way that was both original and representative of Wales. His prowess was recognised far beyond the Welsh Valleys, getting publications in esteemed publications like The New Yorker in the 1950s.
About Selected Stories
Davies' latest work, Selected Stories, is the newest addition to the Library of Wales and features 12 short stories. In the new foreword to the collection, Tomos Owen describes how Davies 'has the gift for writing the surprising sentence, the sentence that makes the reader sit up.' Owen artfully explains how Davies crafts stories that put the truth in limbo, leaving it to be unfolded through dialogue, deception, and the murmurs that govern small communities.
The publication of Selected Stories marks one more achievement for the quintessential Welsh writer.
Praise for Selected Stories
'A Welsh Chekhov ... Davies's observation is total and objective, and truly compassionate.' - The Sunday Times
'Gently wrapped, these stylish perceptive tales have centre as hard as steel, and are all the better for it.' - William Trevor, The Guardian
'Rhys Davies' characters all walk straight out of the page and hold one with an almost physical attraction.'
This new collection is available now from Parthian's website.